Art Review: Rich Entel’s ‘Cardboard Menagerie’ is playful and sculpturally sophisticated

His animal busts, on view through Jan. 4, inspire many looks.
BY DANIEL KANY
The works in Rich Entel’s “Cardboard Menagerie” at the Maine Jewish Museum take the museum’s weakest quality – its hallway space – and turn it into an exquisite asset. Hallways can be tough placement for paintings – not only due to the viewing angle, but also because of how paintings reflect light. But the profile and passing of sculpture in a hallway can ramp up the experience of seeing the object from several points of view.

Entel’s works are animal busts – a genre we typically equate with taxidermy hunting trophies – made largely of used cardboard boxes and broken musical instruments. The hallway placement is an ideal setting for Entel’s sculptures because of our propensity to identify animals by profile (as opposed to people whom we identify by face).
The animals in Rich Entel’s menagerie are mostly made of cardboard recycled from Trader Joe’s wine boxes and parts from old musical instruments. Photos courtesy of the artist
ART REVIEW

WHAT: “Rich Entel’s Cardboard Menagerie”
WHERE: Maine Jewish Museum, 267 Congress St., Portland
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday; through Jan. 4
COST: Free
INFO: 773-2339, mainejewishmuseum.org
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Search photos available for purchase: Photo Store →
Beyond his conceptual aptitude, however, Entel is an excellent three-dimensional designer. In some ways, Entel’s witty use of materials makes this easier to see: As we change viewing angles and proximity, an eye becomes a piano wheel or a violin head and so on. This humor hides three-dimensional intelligence behind a veneer of transformation. While the idea of sculpture in the round has a champion in Entel, many viewers could miss this sophisticated aspect of his art, hidden by its easy and entertaining appeal. This is not to criticize quick-moving viewers, but rather to note that Entel’s work offers some real depth behind its impressive first impression.

And the first impression of “Cardboard Menagerie” is indeed impressive: The works are arranged like a tableau vivant for the viewer’s first glimpse through the synagogue’s front door. It seems a simple thing, but such exhibition compositions are rarely seen outside of gallery shows of glass, ceramic or other sculptural media. Needless to say, that is a rare thing these days in Maine.

Entel’s unapologetically cubist style is an excellent vehicle for wit. While it respects that collage and assemblage truly belong to the legacy of Picasso and Braque, it finds timely purchase running concurrent with the seminal Picasso sculpture show on view through Feb. 7 at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. (Picasso was arguably a better and more influential sculptor than he was a painter.)

Entel’s owl above a staircase’s first step has one face below for prey and another frontal face seen from above or a distance. An elephant’s ear unfurls like an accordion, offering a rhythmic gait of motion. A giraffe’s tongue is a violin neck and head reaching out and up for unseen leaves. And an arrow embedded in a stag’s head – the only reference to a hunt of any sort – is in fact a violin bow that plays the strings set within the cubist critter’s antlers in a way that rejuvenates the ostensibly-sacrificed beast.

And it only gets better: The bow-as-arrow is a bow and arrow, in one. Such transformations go back and forth with musical syncopation.

On one hand, the cardboard looks serious because much of it is covered with what appears to be ancient texts in Hebrew as well as the weighty imagery of Albrecht Dürer-like wood engravings. But, on closer inspection, the cardboard is revealed to be Trader Joe’s wine boxes with already-recycled classical imagery. While that lightens the load, the intentionally impenetrable texts reveal Entel’s chops as a printmaker and maintain a mysterious weight that continues to impress.

In “Cardboard Menagerie,” we are witnessing an artist emerge. Entel’s arrow-struck stag, for example, shows promise, but it does seem crude when compared to the other works in terms of finish, materials and sculptural sophistication.

More impressive than the crafty repurposing, visual wit and art historical play, however, is Entel’s three-dimensional sense.

Too often, I complain about the paucity of compelling sculpture in Maine. But it’s not just a local flaw, rather, it is a culture-wide issue of atrophy afflicting our sense of art objects. While proponents of minimalism and post-painterly abstraction squabbled amongst each other like mortal enemies, they colluded in taking our attention away from composition. We lost sight of composition in the round – the very thing that made sculpture singular.

Entel’s works are compelling three-dimensional compositions, something that has started to feel as rare as a white rhino.

Freelance writer Daniel Kany is an art historian who lives in Cumberland. Contact him at:

dankany@gmail.com

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BLOG & NEW POSTINGS November 27, 2015 – Bill White – THE SCIENCE OF SPONSORSHIP


Investigations into the efficacy of Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-Step programs have advanced from what was once little more than popular and clinical folklore. Scientific studies have progressed through the stage of weak methodological designs to quite sophisticated studies measuring both the effects of 12-Step mutual aid participation on long-term recovery outcomes and the most potent ingredients of such participation.
One of the 12-Step mechanisms of change that has been studied in the past decade is sponsorship. This collection of studies have explored the varieties of 12-Step sponsorship, sponsorship characteristics, and the effects of sponsorship—for the sponsor and the sponsee. Below are ten conclusions drawn to date from these preliminary studies.
The functions performed by 12-Step fellowship sponsors fall into three broad categories: 1) encouraging participation in core 12-Step activities, 2) providing emotional support and practical recovery guidance, and 3) sharing the sponsor’s story and lived recovery experience with the sponsee (Whelan, et al., 2009).
Continuous sobriety increases in tandem with duration of sponsorship (Rynes & Tonigan, 2012; Young, 2013).
Factor analysis of assertive models of linkage to 12-Step programs (e.g., MAAEZ) reveal that sponsorship contributes approximately 25% of the positive effects of these models on drinking outcomes (Subbaraman, Kaskutas, & Zemore, 2011).
The positive effects of sponsorship occur independent of degree of meeting attendance (Witbrodt, et al., 2012).
The rate of sponsorship in A.A. is quite high—82% of members report having a sponsor. Unsponsored A.A. members are more likely to be older A.A. members with prior sponsor relationships rather than new members who have chosen not to use a sponsor (Young, 2013).
The greatest measurable benefits of sponsorship occur early. In terms of recovery initiation and stabilization, the greatest effects of being sponsored occur in the first year of the sponsorship relationship (Tonigan & Rice, 2010). Half of individuals who reduced sponsorship contact over a seven-year follow-up period maintained complete abstinence (Witbrodt, et al., 2012).
The effects of sponsorship on recovery outcomes vary by sponsor and sponsor-sponsee relationship characteristics—a quality that can be measured via the Sponsor Alliance Inventory. Positive sponsor-sponsee alliance is associated with enhanced short-term abstinence outcomes (Kelly, et al., 2015).
Surveyed sponsees report trustworthiness, discretion (respecting confidentiality), and integrity as the most important sponsor characteristics (Stevens, 2013).
In a rare study of former injection drug users, having an AA/NA sponsor did not predict improved recovery outcomes, but sponsoring others produced substantially increased odds of abstinence compared to those who were not involved in sponsoring others (Crape, et al, 2002). The study findings by Crape and colleagues are consistent with other studies reporting exceptionally high abstinence rates among those serving as sponsors in A.A. (e.g., 91% abstinent rate in the 10-year follow-up study by Cross and colleagues (1990). They also support more recent studies documenting the power of helping others in enhancing one’s own long-term recovery stability and quality of life in recovery (See Zemore, et al., 2004, 2008, 2013)
Sponsored members of 12-Step fellowships are more likely than those without sponsors to participate in other activities that have been linked to enhanced recovery outcomes, e.g., meeting attendance, home group affiliation, step work, service work, etc. (Young, 2013; Pagano, et al., 2009; Morgenstern, et al., 1996).
Collectively, these studies confirm the value of peer-based mentor relationships within the recovery process and also underscore the value of helping others in enhancing one’s own recovery process. These findings underscore a message that I have tried to convey through much of my advocacy work: Recovery is contagious. Get close to it. Stay close to it. Catch it. Keep catching it. Pass it on.

Suggested Reading
Brown, R. E. (1995). The role of sponsorship in the recovery or relapse processes of drug dependency. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 13(1), 69-80. doi: 10.1300/j020v13n01_06
Crape, B.L., Latkin, C.A., Laris, A.S., & Knowlton, A.R. (2002). The effects of sponsorship in 12-Step treatment of injection drug users. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 65, 291-301.
Cross, G.M., Morgan, C.W., Mooney, A.J., Martin, C.A., & Rafter, J.A. (1990). Alcoholism treatment: A ten-year follow-up study. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 14, 169-173.
Gomes, K., & Hart, K. E. (2009). Adherence to recovery practices prescribed by Alcoholics Anonymous: Benefits to sustained abstinence and subjective quality of life. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 27(2), 223-235. doi: 10.1080/07347320902784874
Kelly, J.F., Greene, M.C., Bergman, B., Hoeppner, B.B., & Slaymaker, V. (2015). The sponsor alliance inventory: Assessing the therapeutic bond between 12-step attendees and their sponsors. Alcohol and Alcoholism, (advanced publication, 1-8, doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agv071.
Moos, R. H. (2008). Active ingredients of substance use-focused self-help groups. Addiction, 103(3), 387-396. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.02111.x
Morgenstern, J., Kahler, C. W., Frey, R. M., & Labouvie, E. (1996). Modeling therapeutic response to 12-step treatment: Optimal responders, nonresponders, partial responders. Journal of Substance Abuse, 8(1), 45-59. doi:10.1016/S0899-3289(96)90079-6
Pagano, M. E., Zemore, S. E., Onder, C. C., & Stout, R. L. (2009). Predictors of initial AA-related helping: Findings from project MATCH. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 70(1), 117-125.
Polcin, D. L., & Zemore, S. (2004). Psychiatric severity and spirituality, helping, and participation in Alcoholics Anonymous during recovery. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 30(3), 577-592. doi: 10.1081/ada-200032297
Rynes, K. N., & Tonigan, J. S. (2011). Do social networks explain 12-step sponsorship effects? A prospective lagged mediation analysis. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 432-439 doi: 10.1037/a0025377
Stevens, E.B., & Jason, L.A. (2015). Evaluating Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor attributes using conjoint analysis. Addictive Behaviors, 51, 12-17.
Subbaraman, M. S., Kaskutas, L. A., & Zemore, S. (2011). Sponsorship and service as mediators of the effects of Making Alcoholics Anonymous Easier (MAAEZ), a 12-step facilitation intervention. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 116(1-3), 117-124. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.12.008
Stevens, E. (2013). An exploratory investigation of the Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor: Qualities, characteristics, and their perceived importance” (2013). College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations. Paper 49. http://via.library.depaul.edu/csh_etd/49
Tonigan, J. S., & Rice, S. L. (2010). Is it beneficial to have an alcoholics anonymous sponsor? Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24(3), 397-403. doi: 10.1037/a0019013
Whelan, P. J. P., Marshall, E. J., Ball, D. M., & Humphreys, K. (2009). The role of AA sponsors: A pilot study. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 44(4), 416-422. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agp014
Witbrodt, J., Kaskutas, L., Bond, J., & Delucchi, K. (2012). Does sponsorship improve outcomes above Alcoholics Anonymous attendance? A latent class growth curve analysis. Addiction, 107(2), 301-311. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03570.x
Young, L. B. (2012). Alcoholics Anonymous sponsorship: Characteristics of sponsored and sponsoring members. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 30(1), 52-66. doi: 10.1080/07347324.2012.635553
Young, L.B. (2013). Characteristics and practices of sponsored members of Alcoholics Anonymous. Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery, 8, 149-164.
Zemore, S. E., Kaskutas, L. A., & Ammon, L. N. (2004). In 12-step groups, helping helps the helper. Addiction, 99(8), 1015-1023. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2004.00782.x
Zemore, S. E., & Kaskutas, L. A. (2008). 12-Step involvement and peer helping in day hospital and residential programs. Substance Use & Misuse, 43(12/13), 1882-1903.
Zemore, S., Subbaraman, M. & Tonigan, S. (2013). Involvement in 12-step activities and treatment outcomes, Substance Abuse, 34, 1, 60-69.

BLOG & NEW POSTINGS November 20, 2015 – Bill White – ALL IN THE FAMILY (RECOVERY RESOURCE REVIEW)

Throughout the history of addiction in America, family members have been castigated more as causative agents and sources of recovery sabotage than as recovery resources or individuals deserving services in their own right. Given this history, it is not surprising that family members have most often found healing and purpose when they banded together for their own mutual support and political advocacy.—White & Savage, 2005
Family Blog ImageThe effects of addiction on the family system and the family addiction recovery process have been enduring themes within the resources posted on this website. This week’s blog is a reminder of a few of these resources.
For reviews of history of the addiction treatment field’s attitudes toward, and services to, affected families, see White & Savage, 2005. For those interested in how treatment programs and recovery community organizations might more effectively address parenting in addiction recovery, see White, Arria, & Moe, 2011.
Also of interest may be interviews with some of the most influential advocates of family-focused addiction treatment and recovery support. I particularly recommend the interviews with Dr. Claudia Black, Dr. Stephanie Brown, Dr. Robert Meyers, Jerry Moe, and Sis Wenger. Also of note are interviews or blogs on family-focused recovery advocacy, including those with Jim Contopulos, Gary Mendell, Karen Moyer and Brian Maus, and Bill Williams.
An issue that has obsessed me for decades is how we might break intergenerational cycles of addiction and related problems. Those interested in this issue will find several papers of potential interest (see here, here, and here).
And for the history buffs among my readers, the Chronology of Mutual Aid Groups for Families Affected by Addiction and the Chronology of Al-Anon may also be of interest.
More family-focused interviews and resources are planned. Stay tuned.

Post Date November 20, 2015 by Bill White
Categories Articles
Tags addiction | family | recovery

Saturday, November 21st, 2015 Focus: I make time for lunch to increase my productivity and energy.


It’s a popular notion that we will get more done if we skip lunch. I know, since I used to buy into this belief as well. Today hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, will skip lunch in order to accomplish more at work. They’ll say, “I have too much to do. I can’t make lunch today.” Or, “lunch is a waste of time. I’ll tough it out and get more done.” “I’m swamped. No time for lunch.” I know since these were a few of my sayings.

Unfortunately they couldn’t be farther from the truth. Etienne Grandjean, M.D., Ph.D., an expert on productivity at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, says eating a good lunch is highly recommended “for both health and work efficiency.” According to various studies, researchers agree that performance scores plunge when people skip lunch and those who skip lunch soon feel more anxious and tense.

Thankfully, the solution is simple. Whether you’re a mom in the middle of running errands with her kids, a CEO in the middle of a major reorganization, or a college student studying for an exam, DON’T SKIP LUNCH. Ignore the temptation to skip lunch in order to get more done by remembering the facts that it doesn’t work. Realize if you make time for lunch you will more than make up for this time with an increase in productivity and energy. Think of it this way. A 20-minute lunch will provide you with hours of energy. It’s worth it.

Excerpted from the article:

Don’t Be Too Busy For Lunch
Written by Jon Gordon M.A.

Read more of this article…

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Energy Addict by Jon GordonEnergy Addict: 101 Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Ways to Energize Your Life
by Jon Gordon, M.A. (originally published in hardcover as: “Become an Energy Addict”)

Info/Order this book (new paperback edition with different cover)

November 13, 2015 – Bill White – WITH HOPE OF CULTURAL RECOVERY (AN APOLOGY TO MEXICO)


Addiction is as much a worldwide geopolitical threat as it is a public health threat. So-called recreational drug use, addiction, aggressive licit and illicit drug trafficking, and the unintended consequences of national and international drug control policies have deeply wounded the cultural, economic, and political fabric of numerous countries and strained international relations. Don Winslow has authored two fact-based novels that illuminate such influences on the cultural, political, economic, and spiritual life of the people of Mexico. Winslow’s works are controversial because of the conclusions he has drawn from his decades of research, including his open call for drug legalization, but the education of any serious student of drug policy would be incomplete without serious reflection on Winslow’s The Power of the Dog (2005) and The Cartel (2015). These twin works propel the reader beyond flashing news headlines of narco massacres and narco king prison escapes to how America’s insatiable appetite for drugs and ill-conceived drug policies have inflicted deep wounds upon the culture and people of Mexico–wounds that may take generations to heal.
Readers should be warned that these books are quite disturbing in their unrelenting portrayal of mass kidnapping, torture, rape, murder, decapitation, and incineration, as well as the corrosion of Mexico’s major social institutions and the moral corruption of nearly everyone on both sides of the drug wars. These books are not for the faint of heart. I found myself asking, “If I can barely stand to read the brutality of these accounts, what must it be like for the people who have witnessed and lived this for so many years?” I found myself wondering how I would respond to someone approaching me with the decision to accept a bag of money for support of a drug cartel or face the immediate death of myself and my family members. Such choices pervade this story of personal tragedies and cultural devastation. Yet, these well-researched and fluidly composed books provide only a partial glimpse behind the deaths and disappearance of more than 100,000 Mexican citizens during the narco wars of recent decades.
Regardless of political persuasion, readers will close these books with a desperate sense that better strategies must be found to manage the problems that can result from excessive drug use—strategies that can avoid the horrific side effects that have been inflicted on individuals, families, communities, and whole cultures. I hope the Winslow books will add weight to calls to re-evaluate American drug control and enforcement policies—“a searching and fearless moral inventory” in recovery language. What role has America played in this massive loss of Mexican lives, the infusion of fear, futility, and hopelessness into Mexican culture? How can amends be made for such harm?
I turned the last page of The Cartel with a profound sense of sadness and a belief that America had done little in recent decades to alter the destruction wrought by the criminal drug syndicates and by militarized, demoralized, and oft-corrupted drug enforcement bodies. I also closed that last page with a desire to write a letter of apology on behalf of my country for the suffering America’s insatiable drug appetites and misguided drug policies have inflicted upon the people of Mexico and upon its cultural institutions. This blog is that letter. We must find a way to move beyond despair to hope if both of our cultures are to find recovery within our shared story.

BLOG & NEW POSTINGS November 6, 2015 – Bill White – VARIABILITY OF RECOVERY SUPPORT OUTCOMES


In past communications, I have energetically objected to the marketing slogan “Treatment Works!” Professionally-directed addiction treatment of complex disorders generates highly variable outcomes that defy such simplistic claims. So what can be said of such outcomes? Whether we are talking about widely varying approaches to addiction treatment; participation in a secular, spiritual, or religious recovery mutual aid group; or participation in any of the newer recovery support institutions or services, individual responses span at least six possible outcomes.
First, there may be no sustained measurable effect. This means that the frequency, intensity, and consequences of substance use and one’s global health status are not measurably different following the helping effort than they were before such help was provided. This category includes interventions that produce brief improvements that quickly erode to the pre-service baseline.
Second, there may be a minimal effect. Here, there is a slight measurable decline in substance use indicators and/or a slight improvement in global health indicators, but substance use and related problems continue to exert profoundly negative effects on the individual and his or her family and social network. The effects are measurable, but not substantial enough to effect long-term trajectory of the disorder or its effects on quality of life.
Third, there may be a moderate effect. In this scenario, there are clear changes in substance use severity (frequency, intensity, and consequences), with some substance use and related problems continuing. There may also be a change in one dimension of the disorder (such as achievement of sustained remission of the substance use disorder) but no change in broader indicators of global (physical, cognitive, emotional, relational, spiritual) health or social functioning. Moderate change is medically referred to as partial recovery.
Fourth, there may be an optimal effect, sometimes referred to as full recovery. In this case, the problem resolution effort has resulted in complete resolution of the substance use disorder and measurable improvements in global health and functioning. Optimal effects occur when there is a near-perfect match between the person, the intervention, and the timing of the helping effort.
Fifth, there may be an exemplary or exceptional effect, sometimes referred to as amplified recovery. In this scenario, the intervention is both curative and transformative. This means that the substance use disorder is in complete remission and that the individual has experienced dramatic elevations in global health and service to the community. Sometimes referred to as “getting better than well,” this style can be a product of “quantum change” or “transformational change”–a process of change that is unplanned, positive in its personal and social effects, and permanent—a sudden cleaving of one’s life into the categories of “before” and “after.”
Sixth, there may be a harmful effect, sometimes referred to as iatrogenic illness (injury caused by the helping effort). This means that the individual seeking help is in worse condition (a process of clinical deterioration or other accompanying injury) following, and as a direct result of, the intervention that was purported to be helpful. There is a long history of harm in the name of help within the alcohol and drug problems arena (See here and here).
Here are some further principles/observations related to these potential outcomes.
Effects of interventions into complex disorders (those with multiple etiological influences, diverse and remitting/recurring symptom manifestations, and frequent co-occurring disorders) can vary dramatically from person to person. What is transformative to one may have no, minimal, or even harmful effects on another.
Effects of interventions can vary in the same person at different points in time, suggesting that person-treatment matches must be tailored to evolving stages of addiction and recovery.
No effects and minimal effects can result from interventions that lack any potent ingredients, a mismatch between person/intervention, or the delivery of inadequate or excessive doses of the intervention. The latter effects are comparable to inadequate dose/duration of antibiotic therapy or the harmful side effects of excessive dosages of effective medications.
When one compares the effects of different interventions (e.g., a professionally-directed treatment protocol, participation in a recovery mutual aid organization, participation in a recovery residence or collegiate recovery program, or recovery coaching), there are common factors related to measured effects (shared active ingredients) and intervention-specific factors (active ingredients found only within a particular intervention). The isolation of common and specific factors is as important to potential replication and clinical and cultural adaptations as are measuring general intervention effects.
Combining and sequencing interventions with potent ingredients may generate amplified/synergistic effects greater than could be expected by adding the effects of the separate ingredients. The future of enhancing long-term recovery outcomes may well rest on such combinations and selective sequencing. For example, with some individuals, combining medication with psychosocial support in the treatment of a substance use disorder may generate outcomes superior to either medication or psychosocial support used in isolation.
The presence, degree of potency, and duration of support may have greater influence on recovery outcomes than who (what role) delivers the intervention.
The greater the physical, psychological, and cultural distance between the location of service delivery and a person’s natural environment, the greater the difficulty in sustaining institutional learning within one’s natural environment. Treatment (recovery initiation) may be able to be provided in a remote location, but long-term recovery (maintenance of change) must be anchored within one’s own physical and cultural landscape.
For those interested in average recovery outcomes with and without professionally-directed treatment, see my 2012 monograph summarizing the findings of more than 400 community and clinical studies.
Post Date November 6, 2015 by Bill White
Categories Articles

CAUTION;SMOKING MAY LEAD TO BANK ROBBERY: The True Trials and Tribulations of a Jewish Bankrobber


My Book has been published in MedCrave
I am beside myself as this was a Final 4th step attempt for my (A/A-N/A) Step Work….It became a manuscript, to a full paper and Book available on Amazon EBooks.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014DTUE0O/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_xP7ewb0SP84CV

Please pay attention to this If you or anyone you know is suffering from Alcohol or Drug abuse. A first person narrator of a True Story of a Man going through a Journey of self discovery.
Thank you for letting a voice stand out of the shadows. Recovery is Real.
Jamie